The Arbor Vitae 2013

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Jean's Blog (Check out links to Guest Blogs in lefthand Column)

NOT INVISIBLE

June 2, 2016

Tags: time, old, beauty, serenity

Blurred Beauty

I am becoming fascinated with the different way that time impacts my life now that I do not have a measurable job to go to. Hours drift past, indistinguishable, tumbling and swirling in the quiet until they cede space to the next hour, and the next. Sometimes no words are spoken for many hours, so they pass me by in silence, offering no interaction with others. There is no schedule to brush against, nothing to push against nothing with which to make contact in the soft slurring of the days. Time is mine now. But how to fashion something meaningful out of it ?
In between the long stretches of road with nothing to mark my passage, there are suddenly stretches where a complex scenery defines itself. A flurry of phone calls, obligations, emergencies, doctor visits, plans, everything crashes at once into the baffling serenity, stirring up clumps of purpose that flower and dazzle in the calm.
I start the old "master of the universe" stride, but realize that it no more exists than the many years that refined it. Now I walk carefully, gauging the pavement, looking for seating here and there, sighing with relief that there is no more need for hurry, there are fewer sharp edges to avoid. It is almost pleasant to wander in a blurred landscape. There is much to do, much to see, much to savor.
There is always a growing sense that the last time never announces itself, so each time is fragrant with the poignancy that it could be the last. Few angers warrant stoking. Many loves crowd in to embrace. So much in this beautiful world to admire. I have seen and enjoyed so much. Fear for the future recedes. The future will take care of itself. I can only watch and hope.
People smile and pass me by. My panoply of needs and desires lose their urgency. I have one more revision to undertake on my novel. My heart clings to the hope that it will fly out into the world and be seen, that all that I need to say will be heard. I may be old, but I will not be invisible.


FLIP OF THE SWITCH

September 4, 2014

Tags: story, switch, fall, time

The Pond

I am quite amazed to note where these past months have led me. Slowly but surely I have become aware that a life-change is taking place. There has been a flip of the switch and the lens through which I view my world has shifted undeniably into a new perspective, a need for completion, a new close-up, a new set of urgencies: the final playing out of the story that is my life.
Priorities have shifted suddenly and seismically. I am caught up in an urgent need to simplify and clarify, to pare down, to label, to throw out, to bag for the thrift shops, to re-order all the minutae of my 50 years in this apartment..
Time to let go. Time to make order out of chaos. Time to lose everything that has found no place or significance in the lives of my children and grandchildren, and that no longer has a place in whatever time I have left. Time to make up for so many years of benign neglect of daily trivia, as I raced through my life, leaving so much unfinished, so many books unread, so much undone, clinging onto the streaming days by my fingernails in the hope of not missing a beat or falling off the radar.
Time to revel in the beauty of the world.
Fall has come early this year. Up at the country house, there are flutters of gold and scarlet among the leaves. Rust will come later. Last weekend a flock of nine very large black turkeys ambled companionably in the far field, majestically oblivious of the humans watching through the kitchen window. The visiting heron stalked something invisible in the pond. Squirrels, suddenly bursting with purpose, scrambled up and down trees. Summer's breath is still heavy with August humidity but September has arrived, and with it, promises of glory and intimations of winter to come. Grandchildren are back at school in their new grades. Our eldest grandson has started his first year at college. Business lunches jostle with other appointments in the calendar, playing hide and seek with various medical check-ups and the High Holy Days, looming in the middle distance.
Not too far ahead, in November, Thanksgiving offers its magnanimous promise of the old stone house rich with family and fragrant with food and wood smoke once again. Love fills my heart. I contemplate the long trail of years behind me. Still so much left to read, to experience, to complete... to begin.
Whatever lies ahead, I am ready.


Reflections on a brave new year

December 30, 2012

Tags: winter, time, grace, clarity

Winter again. Below freezing and mighty winds but a crisp blue sky that belies the knife-like slashes at any visible skin.
This demanding year is winding down and hope lurks hidden in the dawning of a new year. My life has been moving ahead at warp speed for years, while behind me trails a twisting stream of unfinished things, damaged minutiae in need of repair, repainting, refinishing; mountains of photos in need of order; books cascading unopened through the interstices of past years. This is the year for me to grasp time with both hands and pull in the slipstream so that I can evaluate it and discard or complete. I hear the rumble of the winged chariot. I hear it as a call to order. I hear it as the opportunity to examine stray filaments escaped from so many past years, and to consolidate the roving elements of this design I live.
Closure calls and time slips past its bounds and beckons from the unknown. I pray for health and clarity. I pray for strength and joy. I pray that the coming year will give direction to me and mine and grace to the architecture that together we create.
2013, here we come.

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